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Implementation Strategy to Improve the Interface of Software Products to Users

  • Advancements in digital technologies, such as the Industrial Internet of Things, enabled machinery manufacturers to develop software products that complement and enhance existing products, such as production systems. Some of these software products aim to improve industrial production by assisting users, primarily machine operators, with their work. Although it is essential for a successful market launch that the software product meets users' needs, some manufacturers have difficulties identifying them. This situation is because the interface of their software products to users, especially user input mechanisms, encounters shortcomings. Typically, user input mechanisms enable user input, such as feature requests, to occur, which ultimately can assist in identifying users' needs. This thesis investigates Syntegon Packaging Systems AG and their software product myShopfloor as an exemplary machinery manufacturer within a case study. The case study's findings exemplify that the contextual conditions in the business-to-business domain, particularly the food industry, and internal shortcomings present challenges in gathering user input to identify and meet users' needs. Therefore, this case study proposed and conducted a solution for improving the interface of myShopfloor. The solution started by conducting market research to identify user input mechanisms and tools used in the software industry. Afterward, the identified user input mechanisms were evaluated in a survey with Syntegon Packaging Systems AG employees based on their usefulness for myShopfloor. The evaluation of the survey resulted in selecting user input mechanisms rated as very useful by these employees. In contrast, a subsequent evaluation of the identified tools resulted in an appropriate combination of tools covering the selected user input mechanisms. Finally, an implementation strategy for myShopfloor was outlined as the last part of the solution. First, use cases resulting from each user input mechanism were described to illustrate how specific user flows could lead to user input. Afterward, an adjustment of the Scrum software development process of myShopfloor suggested how to handle and convert the emerging user input into implementable product backlog items. Thereby, this thesis exemplified how to improve the interface of software products by investigating and recommending a solution to myShopfloor. This example was then used for generalizing the results for other companies.

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Author:Said Nursi Kuş
Advisor:Niels Behrmann
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2021
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Release Date:2021/09/24
Tag:Industrial production; Software industry; User input mechanisms
Degree Program:IBM - International Business Management
Functional area:Production, Operations and Supply Chain Management
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt